Study: Black Veterans Enjoy Better Quality of Life

Study: Black Veterans Enjoy Better Quality of Life

soldiers training
Photo by: U.S. Army/Markus Rauchenberger

A study finds Black Americans who served in the military have a better quality of life than those who did not.

The unusual Rand Corp. research report looks at health, economic stability and interpersonal relationships and compares Black veterans with both Black and white Americans, discovering how they differ and how they are often the same.

The report may be downloaded here.

Overall, Black veterans had higher income than Black civilians, something that was true for both men and women, according to the report. White veterans had what the report says are “mixed” results. Black veterans were 19% more likely than Black nonveterans to be homeowners, the report says. This is not true for white veterans, who were 10% less likely than white nonveterans to be homeowners. “White male veterans earned less than white male civilians, while white female veterans earned more than white female civilians,” the report says.

One unfortunate statistic is that both Black and white veterans were more likely than nonveterans to marry before the age of 30, but they also were more likely to be divorced or separated at a younger age than their civilian counterparts. However, older Black veterans “were consistently more likely to be married than Black civilians,” the report says. 

Looking at health, the research found rates of chronic or high-impact pain were significantly higher for Black veterans than Black civilians but about the same for white veterans. However, Black veterans reported more persistent pain and were more likely to raise concerns than white veterans about the effectiveness of their treatment.

Black veterans were more likely to report having adult-onset Type 2 diabetes than nonveterans and white veterans, according to the report. Black veterans also were significantly more likely than the other groups to report taking insulin or diabetic pills. 

There was no significant difference in hospitalization among the Black and white groups of veterans and nonveterans, but Black veterans were slightly more likely to complain about the cost of care, the report found.

The bottom line, according to the findings, is that Black veterans “experience improved economic stability compared with Black Americans who have never served.”